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Poem by William Wordsworth
On the Extinction of the Venetian Republic
Once did She hold the gorgeous east in fee: And was the safeguard of the west: the worth Of Venice did not fall below her birth, Venice, the eldest Child of Liberty, She was a maiden City, bright and free; No guile seduced, no force could violate; And, when she took unto herself a Mate, She must espouse the everlasting Sea. And what if she had seen those glories fade, Those titles vanish, and that strength decay: Yet shall some tribute of regret be paid When her long life hath reached its final day: Men are we, and must grieve when even the Shade Of that which once was great is passed away.
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